Risk-Benefit Analysis of Foods
Over the past years the risk-benefit analysis in relation to foods and food ingredients gained much attention, in Europe but also worldwide. The debate focused mainly on how and when to conduct such analysis.
BRAFO, short for Benefit-Risk Analysis of Foods, developed a framework quantitatively compare human health risks and benefits of foods and food compounds, using a common scale of measurement. Such scale was based on duration and quality of life years with weighting of data quality and severity of effect, with quantification by QALY or DALY-like methodology.
During the first year of the project (2007) the methodology group reviewed the existing methodologies available for risk-benefit analysis, and developed a new draft model. Such draft was applied during the second year of the project through three different case study groups on 1) natural foods like oily fish and soy, 2) macronutrient replacement agents e.g. sweeteners, fat substitutes, and 3) the impact of heat processing on foods. In the final year the methodological findings of the different case studies were integrated in a final model, which can then be applied to a wide range of foods and food compounds.
The European Commission (DG Research under the Sixth Framework Programme, Priority 6, Food Quality and Safety) financially supported this project; ILSI Europe and its Risk Assessment of Chemicals in Food Task Force acted as Coordinator.